His Convenient Affair
by Tricia Jones, contemporary (2007)
Samhain Publishing, $4.50, ISBN 1-59998-542-X


His Convenient Affair is a love story for the real estate agent in you. The hero and the heroine try to seize a slice of the marina real estate industry pie in Cleeve Bay. Since real estate ranks down there with accounting as things that make my eyes glaze, I suspect that people who don't mind the hero and the heroine arguing over progress versus conservation of traditions (naturally, he's all about progress while she's all about preservation) will have a better time with this story.

Because the property she's bought to start her real estate business comes with a higher than expected price tag, our heroine Chloe Greenwood is forced to sell the cottage her grandparents left her. That's okay - she can always live on the first floor of her new building, but you know these heroines. The cottage has memories! It's left behind by her grandparents! Pink bunnies! My little pony! Nathan Fitzgerald, our hero, has just taken over the management of a property development and management company. Since the company is at the brink of ruin, Nathan needs to buy the cottage of Chloe so that the land it is built on can be used to erect a marina hotel.

The bulk of this story deals with Chloe and Nathan wining and dating and I must say, I won't mind being at the receiving end of some of Nathan's lavish and extravagant romantic gestures on those dates he arranges for the two of them. But the late conflict, which is telegraphed by author Tricia Jones early on when she has her two characters discussing about moving forward versus preserving the past when it comes to buildings, sees Chloe feeling betrayed when she realizes that Nathan intends to demolish the cottage.

She insists that Nathan must have wined, dined, and shagged her into selling him the cottage. Oh, A Betrayal That Cuts So Deep! Pink bunnies! My little ponies! How could Nathan let the fluffy beautiful cocktail bowl of red balloons of Chloe's la-la-land fantasies die just like that? Oh, the treachery! She wants her cottage back. Nooooow!

I don't get the heroine. I think she's a whackjob. Is this a real estate thing that I have to read up in a real estate textbook in order to understand what this woman is thinking? I still think she's a freaking whackjob.

All I can say is, it's too bad Chloe didn't slip and fall down right in front of that oncoming bulldozer. Now that will be a jolly ending to this story that starts out okay but ends up in a dumper.

Rating: 58


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